A Lot of Things That I Don’t Like

May 20, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

The first of the Women in Secularism III reflections start to come in, starting with this enthusiastic recap from Jim Newman at Skeptic Money

The photos of the conference from pals-of-CFI Brian Engler and Bruce Press are up to browse, enjoy, and humorously caption. 

Sarah Jones of Americans United (who was a speaker at WiS and was awesome) writes at Faith Street about identifying specifically as a "None"...

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LARPing in the Sky with Diamonds

May 19, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

Women in Secularism III was a huge success. Inspiring, enlightening, some even shocking and challenging. Expect to hear more from us on all the great stuff that went on at the conference. In the mean time, check out some photos of the event by Bruce Press, a member of our DC branch (Brian Engler will have some great ones soon, too). Also, Chris Stedman has an interview with conference speaker Barbara Ehrenreich

CFI responds strongly to the death sentence put on Sudan's Meriam Yeyha Ibrahim Ishag for apostasy with a demand for her release sent to the Sudanese UN ambassador, and further reaction in our released statement:

Religious belief must never be coerced and free expression must never be punished, through threat of imprisonment, violence, or any other means. This cannot go unanswered, and the world will not stand for it. 

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Sad Goat Man

May 16, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

Women in Secularism III kicks off today! Kimberly Winston previews the conference with a piece at RNS with CFI's own Debbie Goddard and Melody Hensley. We'll be tweeting about the conference all weekend with the hashtag #WiSCFI, though expect that some unpleasant folks will also be chiming in with same, so arm your block and mute buttons.

CFI responded to the death sentence of pregnant Sudanese woman Meriam Yeyha Ibrahim Ishag, charged with apostasy for marrying a Christian man, by reaching out to the Sudanese government and demanding she be freed. In our press release, we say:

Religious belief must never be coerced and free expression must never be punished, through threat of imprisonment, violence, or any other means. This cannot go unanswered, and the world will not stand for it. 

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Che, Puss in Boots, and the Pope

May 15, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

A group of UN Special Rapporteurs (a gaggle? a pride? a rookery?) pull no punches against Saudi Arabia and their grotesque persecution of Raif Badawi:

"This outrageous conviction should be overturned and Mr. Badawi immediately released. ... Mr. Badawi is a prisoner of conscience, who has been convicted for peacefully expressing his views on religious and other issues." ... The UN experts condemned the cruelty of the punishment and recalled that such attacks against the physical and psychological integrity of a person represent an affront to the dignity inherent to all human beings.

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One Non-Abrahamic Lump

May 14, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

Bill Nye feels strongly that Skeptical Inquirer is an important tool in helping to change the world.

Lindsey Graham is leading the Senate charge for an outrageously restrictive abortion ban. Maybe he's running for president. 

A pregnant Sudanese woman faces 100 lashes and a possible death sentence for apostasy, unless she recants her Christianity for Islam.

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From Water Therapy to Lasers

May 13, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

Women in Secularism III is mere days away! I'm, like, even going to leave my house to be there! You don't want to miss that, right? (Please only don't-miss that from a respectful distance.) 

Donald Prothero sounds the alarm on science denialism on Point of Inquiry with Lindsay Beyerstein (who will also be at WiS).

The latest issue of Free Inquiry is hitting newsstands now, with fascinating research by Barry Kosmin, who says the U.S. is undergoing a major shift as a "secular constituency" emerges.

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Rekindle the Devil’s Image

May 12, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

Responding to the Washington Post's uncritical piece on alt-med last month, our boss Ron Lindsay pens a letter to the editor taking on a specific claim made about homeopathy, and the Post runs it:

[H]omeopathy is a pseudoscience, based on nebulous notions developed long before modern scientific research. Homeopaths maintain that the more dilute a substance is, the more potent it is as a remedy. Not surprisingly, controlled studies have not shown that homeopathic drugs are more effective than a placebo. 

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Bad Luck

May 08, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

As we reported yesterday, Saudi dissident Raif Badawi has had his sentence for "insulting Islam" heavily increased to 10 years and 1000 lashes. We are working this case very hard, and you can help us tell the world about it through Facebook and Twitter (#IStandwithRaif), and tell the Saudi government what you think. 

And there's more awful news...

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They Would See Us as Bacteria

May 07, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

Terrible news: Raid Badawi, the persecuted Saudi dissident, facing a horrific penalty for "insulting Islam" and perhaps even death for apostasy, has had his sentence made even harsher: 10 years in prison (from 7), 1000 lashes (from 600), and a fine equal to about $267,000 US. We'll have more on this soon. CFI and allies held a protest outside the Saudi embassy for him this past Saturday, in concert with other protests around the world.

CFI is urging lawmakers in Ohio to nix a resolution that would endorse the work of religion and ideology-driven "Crisis Pregnancy Centers":

[C]ertainly you can see that the Ohio state government should not endorse or financially support CPCs, which mislead the public, spread dangerous anti-scientific views, and advance sectarian religious beliefs. 

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Khuy, Pizda, Ebat’, and Blyad

May 06, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

The Supreme Court completely blows it. In a 5-4 decision, the Court rules in favor of sectarian prayer at government legislative functions. CFI's response is to call the decision "ill-reasoned," "hostile to the rights of religious minorities," and "dangerous," among other unflattering things. CNN notes our reaction, including our boss Ron Lindsay's statement that "those of us who believe in a secular government must redouble our legal and advocacy efforts. The New York Times called the decision "lamentable."  

We agreed with the dissent of Justice Kagan:

[M]onth in and month out for over a decade, prayers steeped in only one faith, addressed toward members of the public, commenced meetings to discuss local affairs and distribute government benefits. In my view, that practice does not square with the First Amendment’s promise that every citizen, irrespective of her religion, owns an equal share in her government.

Calling the Court's bluff, the Satanists are ready.

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